Following on from the rich cultural life at the Junior Campus, the Senior Campus boys are also provided with many and varied opportunities to engage with the Performing Arts, both in organized groups and in self-directed ensembles. We have 18 specialist staff teaching individual lessons in all instruments and voice, and leading the major ensembles. Many of those staff perform regularly in premier orchestras and bands in New Zealand and students are offered the opportunity to attend concerts.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of students sitting the international exams offered by the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College, London. The number of boys gaining Merit or Distinction has also grown increasingly, and there are many Dilworth graduates studying music at University who come back regularly to Dilworth to offer masterclasses, and valuable insight into tertiary training.
Dilworth School produces a musical show every two years, and the students are encouraged to participate in the Diocesan Show in the other year. As well as on-stage roles, there are also opportunities for back stage and technical crew, costuming, publicity, staging, orchestra and design. A full-scale show is presented in May and always sells out.
We also enter the school’s “Showdown” competition, which is open to every school in the Auckland to Whangarei region, and have enjoyed success with nominations in almost every category, and to date have won two awards.
One of the jewels in the crown of the Performing Arts at Dilworth Senior School is the auditioned choir, ‘Fortissimo” (the name comes from the musical term, meaning “very loud”, which is usually shortened to “ff” when written on music, and encapsulates the School Motto - Fermiter et Fideliter). There are 24 places in this choir, and they perform at the annual choir competition “The Big Sing” which is for all schools in the Auckland region. They have won awards and Highly Commended placings.
The Dilworth Foundation Singers is the principal School Choir and is open to any boy who wishes to enjoy singing. When combined with the Junior Campus, they lead the whole school singing at Founder’s, ANZAC and Carol Services as well as performing at other significant School functions and “the Big Sing”.
Under the direction of the brass teacher, Mr Jonathan Cook, the band has gone from strength to strength, and in 2011 was awarded a Bronze Award at the school’s band competition, “The KBB Festival”. They rehearse weekly at lunchtime, and perform at assemblies, chapel, Carol Services and at special school occasions.
This orchestra combines with those from other schools to present major works from the orchestral repertoire, as well as performing at School concerts and the Arts' Showcase.
There are currently two groups led by our itinerant staff, and a number of other groups led by senior students. There are opportunities for these groups to perform at our regular lunchtime concerts, and at the Arts' Showcase.
A band from Dilworth School is encouraged to enter the annual schools' rock band competition.
Held annually, this competition aims to showcase the talents of each house, and to encourage the leadership and co-operation within each boarding house. This event is open for audiences to attend.
This event is one of the highlights of the Performing Arts every year. It is open to any boy to audition and is open for audience to attend. Acts range from drumming, dance items, stand-up comedy, dance, music groups to rock bands.
All students are encouraged to compose music, and there is an annual prize at Arts' Showcase awarded to the best composition. Special concerts are offered to showcase these works.
Teams train both at school in lunchtimes and with industry professionals, and compete against other schools in the area. The boys enjoy success in inter-school competitions.
Under the direction of Ms Stephanie Cooke, the performances in the courtyard have been one of the highlights of the year. Fully staged, costumed and performed with real skill, the students are introduced to the joys of live outdoor theatre.
This group is formed for special occasions, and is student led. In 2011 they performed at a special function at the Auckland Town Hall and have also performed at the annual Polyfest, where they won an award for newcomers.
The School Kapa Haka group leads all major school events and performs regularly at functions such as the Arts' Showcase. They will also represent Dilworth at the annual Polyfest.